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kingkenny
-30th October 2006, 08:38
I was looking at the LPJS age categories which are
U9 U11 U13 U15 and U17.
The U17 have a very low entry.
Would it not be better to have
U10 U13 and U16
This would mean less events for the organisers and a greater number of athletes in each event. The only thing is blade sizes. At the moment it goes like this:

competition category Foil Epee Sabre
National age group U10 0 0 0
National age group U14 or younger 3 2 2
National age group U15 or older 5 5 5
LPJS U9 0 0 0
LPJS U13 3 2 2
LPJS 13 or older 5 5 5

It could be:
competition category Foil Epee Sabre
National age group U10 0 0 0
National age group U14 or younger 3 2 2
National age group U15 or older 5 5 5
LPJS U10 0 0 0
LPJS U13 3 2 2
LPJS 13 or older 5 5 5

I think an 13 and over to U16 would be a really strong category and could really benefit youth fencing. We have 1 month to make any changes to the LPJS before the booklet is printed.
Ben

Prometheus
-30th October 2006, 09:01
Is there not a growth spurt from 13 to 15? This would increase the number of tall fencers vs small fencers via big 15 year olds fencing petite 13 year olds. IMO more likely to decrease number of 13 year olds participating.

Baldric
-30th October 2006, 09:08
I can see what you are trying to do, but I do have some reservations.

One of the plus sides to the current system is that it is perfectly out of synch with the BYC, so young fencers are always in their junior year in one, and senior year in the other. This provides some balance to the season.

The Premier series uses a 3 year band (11-14) and you do see some intimidating mis-matches in size and strength. At 13-16 this would be even greater as it spans the boys growth spurt period. It might scare off some of the 13yr olds.

I understand your worries about the U17 vanishing through lack of support. Maybe if it was marketed harder to the schools? You see loads of kids at regional quals, or the PSFC that you never see anywhere else.

Regards

Baldric

Touché Turtle
-30th October 2006, 09:23
My personal preference would be to keep things as they are. A lot of growing and experience can happen in 2 years, and I think that's enough of an age range with littlies. (ok 13s, but still youngish!)
Of course, I'm biased as junior is already the youngest in her year as it is with a December birthday, and already fences other girls nigh on 2 years older - that's quite enough thank you!
From a general viewpoint I think children need a little bit of 'protection' (not the word I was searching for,but you get the idea) from much bigger, older ones. At the LPJS they can find that. There's a reassurance that anyone else they fence isn't going to be so much older - especially useful for newer or less experienced competitors. There are still a lot of beginner fencers at that age, and the LPJS is a 'safe haven' away from older teenagers to get competition experience. I think maybe 3 years difference is a touch too much. As Prometheus and Baldric said - a lot of growing can happen in that time.
And of course anyone over 13 who wants to fence older children or adults has as many opportunities as they could want in the open circuit anyway.

A possible solution to low U17 numbers is maybe to just drop that agegroup. I assume most fencers at that age are fencing on the adult circuit.

Baldric
-30th October 2006, 09:28
A possible solution to low U17 numbers is maybe to just drop that agegroup. I assume most fencers at that age are fencing on the adult circuit.

I think that this neatly describes a problem in youth fencing from about 14 upwards.

If you are at the top end of ability (top 10-15 boys or top 5-8 girls) in any yeargroup, the cadet system accommodates you. Its not a great system, but at least its there.

For fencers below that ability level, we pretty much ignore them. They drift away from competing and wander off into different sports. I would much rather hear some innovative ideas for boosting attendance at U17 LPJS, rather than just dropping it.

rugmike
-30th October 2006, 09:34
I think you'll find that U-17 Men's sabre has been very well supported this year, unlike previous ?
That will probably stop here on, 'cos of the murderously frantic 'foreigns' and BSC events schedule. New ones seem to be going up every week !

Touché Turtle
-30th October 2006, 09:42
I think that this neatly describes a problem in youth fencing from about 14 upwards.

If you are at the top end of ability (top 10-15 boys or top 5-8 girls) in any yeargroup, the cadet system accommodates you. Its not a great system, but at least its there.

For fencers below that ability level, we pretty much ignore them. They drift away from competing and wander off into different sports. I would much rather hear some innovative ideas for boosting attendance at U17 LPJS, rather than just dropping it.

Fair comment. I did say a possible solution.
Was just a suggestion as KingKenny had already suggested stopping at U16.
I admit I don't know much about fencing at that age, but was going on the information at hand - if there aren't many entries, then it would seem the need for the competition isn't there. I guessed they were fencing elsewhere. :upset: If there is such a dropout at that age, then of course it needs to be addressed.
I didn't mean to ignore the cadets, just assumed they were turning their backs on LPJS in favour of something else!

Baldric
-30th October 2006, 10:29
Fair comment. I did say a possible solution.
Was just a suggestion as KingKenny had already suggested stopping at U16.
I admit I don't know much about fencing at that age, but was going on the information at hand - if there aren't many entries, then it would seem the need for the competition isn't there. I guessed they were fencing elsewhere. :upset: If there is such a dropout at that age, then of course it needs to be addressed.
I didn't mean to ignore the cadets, just assumed they were turning their backs on LPJS in favour of something else!

Sorry TT, I wasn't meaning to have a go at you. Its just a personal hobby horse of mine.

The way the system works at the moment, (in foil) only the best mid-teens can survive in the cadet system - just a handful a year. This splits the agegroup up, leaving a declining rump available for the older LPJS agegroups, which fizzle and die. By 18, there are just the junior squad members, and a handful of diehards still fencing competitively*

If we could get rid of this bottleneck in the pipeline, we it would have a tremendously positive effect on university fencing, and on the overall numbers in the sport.

*I know that I have ignored a number of other factors here, like exams, jobs and other interests. However, we can't do anything about them - we can work on the competition structure.

cesh_fencing
-30th October 2006, 11:21
Feel that current ages for the younger ones are good.

To have an Under 10 at epee/sabre would be pointless as you would never get good entry numbers (the Under 11s has 5 or less entries at over half of events anyway), and then jumping to Under 13s would mean having 100 odd entries at the likes of the bigger events (i.e.Whitgift Epee) which would not be managable.

There is a case of maybe having U11, U13, U16 and forgetting U17 and above as these fencers have lots of Cadet, Youth and Senior events to attend, wheras the younger ones need the LP series to get the competition practice.

27ab1c
-30th October 2006, 11:22
I would say keep it as it is - as has been pointed out, it dovetails nicely with the BYCs so the kids are at the top of one age group and the bottom of another every year.

In terms of improving U17 entries, making them cadet-nominated at all weapons might help sort that.

Baldric
-30th October 2006, 11:34
In terms of improving U17 entries, making them cadet-nominated at all weapons might help sort that.

I would certainly like to see the bigger ones - say Sherwood, Eton and Cambridge, maybe also Falkirk and Portsmouth to get good coverage geographically - B nominated for foil at U15 and U17.

As I said before, we (foil) concentrate too much on the top few in the cadet rankings. Epee and sabre seem to do it much better than foil.

Stephen Chivers
-30th October 2006, 11:42
I would say keep it as it is - as has been pointed out, it dovetails nicely with the BYCs so the kids are at the top of one age group and the bottom of another every year.I thoroughly agree. My son really enjoyed the U13 and U15 series when he started fencing and will always feel grateful to the LPJS for the introduction they provided to competitive fencing, as well as improving his geography.


In terms of improving U17 entries, making them cadet-nominated at all weapons might help sort that.This would certainly have an impact but, speaking for sabre, I feel that we have enough nominated competitions already because all the Junior selection events (domestic and A grades) count for the cadets too.

gbm
-30th October 2006, 12:00
A possible problem with making an U17 LPJS a nominated cadet event would be what to do with the 14 year olds who are good enough to do the cadet circuit?
Unless you did LPJS U11,13,15 on one day, and U17 on the other, you would have to choose between doing the U15 event or doing the U17 event (are you even given this choice at LPJSs?)

Baldric
-30th October 2006, 12:06
A possible problem with making an U17 LPJS a nominated cadet event would be what to do with the 14 year olds who are good enough to do the cadet circuit?
Unless you did LPJS U11,13,15 on one day, and U17 on the other, you would have to choose between doing the U15 event or doing the U17 event (are you even given this choice at LPJSs?)

The answer is that you give points for both U15 and U17 - just less points (smaller multiplier) for the younger event.

I think thats how it works in epee, but stand to be corrected.

27ab1c
-30th October 2006, 12:06
GBM makes a fair point, although they manage it at epee

kingkenny
-30th October 2006, 12:56
The only other option would be:
U10, U12, U14, and U16 instead of U9 U11 U13 U15 U17.
Most people under 10 are quite small then we would have the big age group of 10 to 12 and 12 to 14. Other wise I feel all the U17 events will disappear which seems a big shame. Last year only 2 foil events had U17 categories.

pinkelephant
-30th October 2006, 16:08
Men's epee nominates U13, U15 and U17 for the B ranking at some of the events. I, too, like the way it interlocks with the BYCs, so that any fencer is in the second year of the age group in one and the first year in the other.

cesh_fencing
-30th October 2006, 19:42
Looking at all that has been said, alot of people do not really want the U17 age group removed and at the younger ages it is not practical to have a bigger gap between ages as the kids will be hugely differing sizes.

Why not let organisers choose what age-groups (within U11, 13, 15, 17 structure) they hold, so only a couple of foil events will have U17, but alot of the Epee ones would.

Is it really broke though? If it is not, why try to fix it???

vikkia
-30th October 2006, 21:34
Looking at all that has been said, alot of people do not really want the U17 age group removed and at the younger ages it is not practical to have a bigger gap between ages as the kids will be hugely differing sizes.

Why not let organisers choose what age-groups (within U11, 13, 15, 17 structure) they hold, so only a couple of foil events will have U17, but alot of the Epee ones would.

Is it really broke though? If it is not, why try to fix it???
i agree this has worked well and will continue to work well U 17s ok but for the rest get on with it. As my boy is quite small but old enough to do opens I would rather he continued to do LPJS in his age group and once he has had his growth go on to his cadets and opens. i think that we all push our kids to much and take them out of their comfort zone to early.My boy wants to start doing opens because some have Cadet points and he wants to move up the rankings!! So what, he has plenty of time if he is good enough he will get there if he isn't he will not, what I do not want to see is a child hammered beacuse he is still small. if we keep the LPJS as they are then as everyone else has said there is a good age group mix with the byc's as cesh said if it aint broke don't fix it.

Or something like that:)

Lynne
-31st October 2006, 07:05
i agree this has worked well and will continue to work well U 17s ok but for the rest get on with it. As my boy is quite small but old enough to do opens I would rather he continued to do LPJS in his age group and once he has had his growth go on to his cadets and opens. i think that we all push our kids to much and take them out of their comfort zone to early.My boy wants to start doing opens because some have Cadet points and he wants to move up the rankings!! So what, he has plenty of time if he is good enough he will get there if he isn't he will not, what I do not want to see is a child hammered beacuse he is still small. if we keep the LPJS as they are then as everyone else has said there is a good age group mix with the byc's as cesh said if it aint broke don't fix it.

Or something like that:)

Quite small? :whistle:

Was going to attach a picture here, but forum wouldn't let me! jpeg too large. Grr!

Advice, anybody?

pinkelephant
-31st October 2006, 08:12
He was handling himself pretty well against the big guys at the Junior Champs!

Tubby
-31st October 2006, 20:22
Quite small? :whistle:

Was going to attach a picture here, but forum wouldn't let me! jpeg too large. Grr!

Advice, anybody?Resize the photo using a photo editor.

Lynne
-1st November 2006, 05:36
D'oh!

That's better :thumbs_up

vikkia
-1st November 2006, 06:07
Lynne that looks so silly but it almost makes my point for me. Anyone got any growth hormones ?????

pinkelephant
-1st November 2006, 08:13
Jimmy T was tiny (heightwise) at that age too. He didn't start to grow till he was about 15. Worry ye not!

27ab1c
-2nd November 2006, 12:32
...and I seem to remember James Davis was already about 6ft 95in when he fenced LPJS under-13s.

pinkelephant
-2nd November 2006, 14:20
Wasn't he born that size?

Mind you, Jimmy was born with those shoulders. I remember it well............

Tubby
-3rd November 2006, 17:26
Wasn't he born that size?

Mind you, Jimmy was born with those shoulders. I remember it well............:eek: ...evil... sting a bit did it?

Lynne
-4th November 2006, 10:40
INFORMATION OVERLOAD! :whistle:

Andy W.
-4th November 2006, 12:14
I don't support the widening of the age groups especially at the younger end. There is a big ability and confidence gap between a 10 and 13 year old foilist (in our case), and being overwhelmed by a 13 year old giant would not boost a 10 year old's desire to carry on.
As for Cadet points to increase interest in U17, not bad idea if the rest of the Cadet system is reviewed at the same time.

pinkelephant
-7th November 2006, 17:08
Jimmy T was tiny (heightwise) at that age too. He didn't start to grow till he was about 15. Worry ye not!

See what I mean? And those shoes are still doing the rounds - they are a size FOUR.

vikkia
-7th November 2006, 19:33
OK OK but he is still 6 inches bigger than Jamie!! Ben (my other son)who is 2 years younger is bigger than J!I know J is only 12 but he is still a midget!!! time will tell ,he has the skill, he has the heart,but does he have the size??? That is why I want the age groups to stay as they are:)